In the beginning of December I challenged myself and went on a low-carb diet for a week in an effort to lose some weight before Christmas. Oh boy, what a challenge this was. I had no bread, porridge, muesli, pasta or rice for a week! I introduced beans to my diet, something that I would normally not have as I never liked beans when I was a child. But beans are really healthy foods, high in protein and containing much less carbs than lentils. I am now slowly introducing them to my diet, slowly learning to like them.
One evening during my low-carb week I made a kidney bean-vegetable soup made of various vegetables that I needed to use. I couldn’t use lentils as they are high in carbs so I used kidney beans instead. I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out as I just put some random vegetables in the soup, but at the end it turned out delicious. I really liked it and I also had it for my lunch at work the next day. It was such a filling soup, it kept me going for a while.
I made this soup the second time a week or so later and it wasn’t as tasty but then I realised why the first time was so delicious. You need to use some of the liquid from the beans – don’t drain the beans and throw the thick liquid away – use it for the soup. This makes it much more tasty.
I did use half of a carrot in my soup (only because I had to use it up) but those who really want to be strict with their low carb diet can leave this out.
Low-carb hearty kidney bean-vegetable soup
- 100 g green beans cut into 1cm long pieces
- 1/2 carrot chopped (optional)
- 1 red onion sliced
- 2-3 clove garlic chopped
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 stock cube vegetarian
- 4 tbsp coconut or rapeseed oil enough to fry the onion
- 50 g spinach washed (or more if you like)
- 2 stalks of celery diced
- 1 carton of organic kidney beans get it from Tesco's or Sainsbury's
- 2 bay leaves
- 75 ml passata
- 1/2 courgette chopped
- salt and pepper as required
- Heat up the oil in a medium size saucepan, add sliced onion and gently fry it until soft.
- Add chopped garlic, quickly stir, leave for around 30 seconds so it releases the flavour and then add some water to prevent it from burning.
- Cook the harder vegetables first. Add cut celery, carrots and green beans to the pan and then add enough water to cover them so they can cook in a liquid. Add a stock cube, smoked paprika and bay leaves at the same time.
- Simmer vegetables for around 5 minutes and then add chopped courgette and passata. Add more water if needed. Cook for a few more minutes and then add the spinach.
- After the spinach has wilted a bit add a carton of kidney beans. If it feels it needs more liquid, add all of the liquid from the carton. If it's a bit watery, add only some of the liquid.
- Cook on a low heat for a few more minutes. If it's too watery you could add some flour and water mix.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.